Could the Celtics’ rebounding troubles have a lot to do with Kevin Garnet?
Garnett used to be a double-double machine. He was always a threat to lead the league in rebounding, and scored in double digits virtually every single game.
But for KG, double-doubles have been tougher to come by this season than ever before. (Via Rich Levine, CSNNE)
KG has five double-doubles in 31 games this year. The Celtics are 3-2 in those five games.
Through 31 games last year, KG had 13 double-doubles.
Through 31 games in 2007-2008, he had 16.
Through 31 games during his final season in Minnesota, he had 27.
Listen, I know this isn’t late-’90s baseball we’re talking about here. It’s only natural to see some drop off between ages 30 and 33, but . . . but . . . come on.
Let this be the end of the “same old KG” talk. He can still be great, but never as great as he once was. Never.
Levine is right. Garnett will never be the same as he once was. But a 7-footer who still has above-average mobility should never reach double-digit rebounds so infrequently. (He has rebounded in double-digits six times, including once when he missed out on a double-double with only 9 points.)
In ’03-’04 KG averaged 13.9 rebounds per game, but hasn’t surpassed 13 rebounds once this season. His rebounding has taken a drastic turn for the worse.
I know part of thedecline in KG’s rebounding has to do with the growth of Kendrick Perkins and the new presence of Rasheed Wallace, and that another aspect of his decline is merely his body feeling the wear and tear of over 1,000 NBA games. I know he doesn’t play as many minutes as he did back when he contended for the NBA rebounding title each season.
But he has played 61 minutes over the last two games and grabbed only six rebounds. How does a seven-footer not named Mark Blount grab only one rebound per ten minutes? Garnett said his rebounding timing was off following his return from injury, but come on. Just go after the damn ball when it comes off the rim.
For a team that had been struggling to win games in his absence, Garnett is a godsend. But those rebounding numbers still don’t look good.
I don’t know exactly what has made Garnett’s rebounding numbers slow so drastically, but if there’s a moral to the story, it’s this…
Next time you discuss what sissies the Celtics are on the glass, don’t forget to give KG his fair share of the blame.
(By the way, read the rest of Levine’s column. It has some nice stats.)